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January 29, 2001
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Dennis J. Mouland, PLS
We’ve all seen the ads on the television for the Psychic Hotline. Those people can just talk to you on the phone and tell your past, present and future. But as a friend of mine once said, “Hey, if they are so psychic, why don’t they just call you?” Good question.

The claim is to be able to tune in on certain cosmic vibes and somehow understand secrets. Some even assert that they get the information from spirits. That is scary. Even Nancy Reagan used them during her time in the White House. The subject matter was never revealed, but I suspect it was about foreign policy—or what to have for dinner. She should have just said “no” to this nonsense.

I am convinced there is a certain sector of our own profession who use this avenue on a regular basis. They employ psychic abilities to find corners, assess legal descriptions and even to compute their low bids. Since I do not seem to have this power, I am duly impressed with these folks. For example, the surveyor who goes out to a jobsite, stands in the road intersection and drives a monument in the center to represent the “best available evidence.” That must utilize a tremendous amount of psychic power, because they never look at any other evidence, and still know it to be the “best available.” And even more impressive: these powers allow them to ignore the other two pipes set by other psychic registrants in close proximity to their “best” corner.

Another really remarkable feat with psychic psurveying is the ability to sense the true intent of the parties to a deed description, no matter how convoluted or bogus the words actually are. And if the deed is a hundred years old, I can only assume this includes contact with the spirits of long since dead grantors and grantees. Title insurance companies should get in on this!

POB needs to interview some of these folks. I really want to understand more about it. Do they hear an Obi-Wan Kenobi-like voice that says, “Use the fence, Luke!”? Or do they just get a feeling of what is right? And how does this feeling feel? Are they using some sort of cadastral crystals? Or perhaps a survey version of tarot cards is in their bag of tricks. Is there some sort of boundary Ouija board available from a survey supply house?

How does NCEES test for this? What is the minimum level of competence on psychic abilities anyway? Do state boards have to “sense” that an applicant has this ability in his or her qualifications, or does the applicant simply have to check the box next to “Psychic Experience Claimed”?

I am unable to think of many other professions that resort to this sort of tactic. Would you go to a dentist that never uses x-rays? He just waits for a harmonic vibe to reveal to him which tooth needs a filling. This certainly helps explain my dentist’s methods. And what about a lawyer who reads tea leaves to determine the best route to handle your case? I think mine does this anyway, especially when computing his bill.

As you can see, I am still a skeptic. I think a lot of this clairvoyant survey methodology is just a bunch of bunk. These folks are going to have to pay the piper some day. Their claims of supernatural survey abilities will be proven to be malarkey. The whole world will see the truth about their supposed talents.

How do I know all this will come back to haunt them? I don’t know…I just have a feeling.

Read Dennis Mouland’s next column in the May issue.

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